Mike Peverill's railway sleeper potagers (raised beds)

Thanks for the great service. Here are some before, during and after railway sleeper pics as requested, showing the progression of the garden in Mapperley Park over recent times.

These are the new potagers, (basically raised beds), for growing attractive arrangements of veg, fruit and ornamental plants and designed to look good all year round. The raised edges will facilitate no-dig growing, where a layer of carboard is added to cover any weeds then a mix of green waste, compost, manure is laid on top. This provides a rich growing medium whilst suppressing weds and also providing a deep layer of mulch which also retains soil moisture. When repeated over successive growing seasons this adds significant levels of organic matter to the soil and increases productivity of the beds. The railway sleeper edges also stop the compost material from spreading out on to the grass. The railway sleepers are screwed together, fixed in place with steel ground spikes, then lined underneath and inside with DPC plastic strip to prevent damp soil from being in contact with the railway sleepers, in order to extend their useful life. Another element of the project is the installation of a large rainwater harvesting system to enable regular watering of the crops whilst conserving mains water, particularly during hot, dry summers like 2022 which are expected to become more frequent and severe as the climate continues to change.

Mike Peverill
Pev’s Paving & Landscaping
Beautiful, practical, ecological, edible spaces

New pine railway sleepers
2.4m x 250mm x 75mm

RailwaySleepers.com Says..

Thanks a lot for the great pictures of the railway sleeper raised beds you have built, that will be perfect in years to come for growing vegetables, fruits and flowers. Thank you also for your description of the construction of the raised beds, and especially for your explanation and knowledge of no-dig growing, the increase in organic matter and subsequent increased productivity. Really fascinating and clearly the way forward, especially when combined with a rainwater conservation system.